Are You Striving for Success or Significance?

How do you define Success?

Is it about achieving a particular status…the impressive title, the fancy car, the big house?  Does it come from a having a notable degree and a big bank account?

I’d venture to say that everyone reading this knows of people who can boast those “achievements”, but are in fact living unhappy, empty lives.  So despite the fact that we are enamored by the fame, fortune and power that society celebrates, I think we all know that true Success is much more than that.

So what’s missing?

A few years back I did a journaling exercise with a coach I was working with on my “Success Mindset”.  I defined Success as living one’s life in excellence…as having one’s internal experience (body, mind & spirit) completely in harmony with one’s external experience.

And then just a few weeks ago I was reading an article by Darren Hardy in Success Magazine, and I really resonated with his discussion on this topic.   He talked about how those people who have achieved that external, material success will inevitably feel that something is amiss if they have not also acquired the thing that matters most ~ Significance.

This is the key element to the harmony I was referring to in my definition.  It is significance that allows the internal experience to be as beautiful as the external experience.  Significance is about knowing that we have had a positive impact on others….that our lives and been meaningful.  The conversation shifts from one of power to one of value.

“The interesting thing is you can be successful and not significant, but you cannot be significant without being successful.   A successful person, by our definition, is one who has achieved five pillars of excellence: business, well-being, relationships, wealth and contribution. We call this “whole-life success,” and one who has achieved it has attained a life of significance.” ~ Darren Hardy

Whole-life Success.  Yes!  This is exactly why I became Holistic Health Coach and created Conscious Choices Wellness.  To truly live life to the fullest, we must focus on all the pieces of the puzzle called life, because if even one is missing, our potential impact is not fully realized.

So which are you striving for, Success or Significance?

I think this is the perfect time of year to begin evaluating how you are using your unique talents and valuable time and energy to create a life of abundance on the inside, the outside and all around you.  The new year is fast approaching, and it is always a time of great reflection.  Begin now to think about where you might need to shift something in your life to create space for more of the balance that leads to Whole-life Success.  Don’t wait until the very end of the year (or the beginning of the next!) to begin thinking about what you will be about and bring about in 2012!

Begin thinking about it now ~ what is the legacy you intend to leave?

This is important to know, because it’s your legacy that will last.  So take some time to get clear on this, because when you do, you will make your choices with complete confidence knowing whether or not they serve and support your intended legacy.

Because as my favorite goals coach Gary Ryan Blair says, “We only live once, but once is enough if we do it right. Live your life with class, dignity, and style so that an exclamation, rather than a question mark, signifies it!”

Yours in Whole-life Success!

5 people like this post.
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook

48 Responses to “Are You Striving for Success or Significance?”

  1. Am I striving for success or significance? I have never asked myself that but coming to think of it I think I have been aiming more for success. This is a beautiful post and it made me realize that here is so much to success than just the money. Success has to be all rounded. From now on I strive to be significant.

    [Reply]

  2. Nonny
    Twitter: mum_in_business
    04. Oct, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Significance is definitely what I am looking for. Success can be short-lived whereas significance can be a legacy left behind even when I am not around.

    Great post!
    Nonny´s last blog post ..Weight loss

    [Reply]

  3. Having the “Strive for Success” mindset will ultimately propel you to have significance. Since we have to make ourselves extraordinary in order to achieve success, I would imagine that has some sort of significance?
    Nick Dodd @ Miami Condos´s last blog post ..Miami Condos Video Tour

    [Reply]

  4. Hi Beth,
    It is a very inspiring post. First I worked for success then I am striving for significance and your article motivate me in this prospective. Thanks for sharing.
    waterpearls´s last blog post ..CrowdSPRING Coupon

    [Reply]

  5. You can only find success if you are interested with what you are doing and if you are trying your best to achieve what you want. And with this, many will be inspired to do their best in coming up with their own way of succeeding.
    Liane Markus´s last blog post ..Small Business Security Systems

    [Reply]

  6. I agree completely with you Beth, there is much more to success than just achieving a certain status. However, I must admit I haven’t looked that deep into the internal and external experience of success until I read this post.

    The five pillars of excellence that Darren talks about is so true. Whole-life success is something we should all strive for.

    Thank you for sharing this inspring post, it truly gave me a new insight on what true success is.
    Melony@Yeast Infection Home Remedy´s last blog post ..The Real Causes of Recurring Yeast Infections & Treatments To Stop Them

    [Reply]

  7. Hi Beth! For me success means gaining the freedom to spend your time doing what is meaningful for you…Tomek
    Tomek´s last blog post ..Is Glutamine Supplementation Useful?

    [Reply]

  8. For me success is being able to look into the mirror and be happy about who you are.

    It is also being able to look into the eyes of others and see love and respect, happiness due to something you did.

    Alison
    Alison´s last blog post ..Super Colon Cleanse

    [Reply]

  9. Great points here.. I had always thought of significance as what I meant to the world. But this really doesn’t matter–what matters more is what I mean to ME. And that’s way more important than success! Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  10. I must admit I’m working on success right now. My financial situation is precarious so significance is a luxury I can’t afford right now. After I have enough income to pay my bills, then I can work on significance.

    [Reply]

  11. success will give you significance, so i will go for success! :D
    Abby´s last blog post ..Trouble Conceiving

    [Reply]

  12. Hi Beth,
    It is a very nice post and you have shared very catchy points here.Mostly network marketers go for success first then they realise the importance of significance.For long term success, significance is very important.
    Pete Goumas´s last blog post ..WestMarine Review – Coupon

    [Reply]

  13. Hamish
    Twitter: EBScribblings
    06. Nov, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Hi Beth,

    You made many good points in that post I think. I know plenty of people who have all the material trappings of success but are fundamentally unhappy.

    There is a certain amount of material wealth required – but after that, you should be focusing on other things rather than the acquisition of more stuff. Maslow put it a bit better than that, but I guess you know what I mean.

    For me, success is the ability to spend my time as I like (mostly) and to be with people that I want to be with.

    That’s not to say that I don’t want to “work”. I just don’t want to do that all the time. Some “task time” makes me appreciate my time with friends and family even more. It’s a question of balance.
    Hamish @ ebook reader reviews´s last blog post ..B&N Launch New Nooks – Does This Mean War?

    [Reply]

  14. Great post! Now that you mention it, I haven’t got an answer. But so far, my answer would be both.
    edmond0925´s last blog post ..dog training

    [Reply]

  15. I never thought of success and significance in just this way, but I think you’re right on the money. My dad was one who knew the real meaning of success. He built a profitable business, but always remembered to spend time coaching my baseball team, taking us on vacations, and offering service to our church. I take him as my model.
    alanc230´s last blog post ..20% off on Jersey Pearl Jewellery at KJ Beckett

    [Reply]

  16. You have made very good points Beth. We, as human beings strive for success and would take significance as a secondary. But at the end of the day, it’s the mark that we have left that matters. Our success is defined by what we have done and we will leave behind. Being able to be an inspiration to others is already success by itself.
    Jarrod Frenzel@The Woodlands Texas real estate´s last blog post ..Holiday Tips for Burglary Prevention

    [Reply]

  17. I am glad this post was well balanced in its view. The definition of success is as varied as the number of people you ask. True significance is found when you accomplish things that will help others and last.
    Mark´s last blog post ..Knowing about Asbestos Symptoms, Risks, and Diagnosis

    [Reply]

  18. Doesn’t significance come with success? I look at it as two steps. Success makes you significant in some way.

    [Reply]

  19. Significance always lasts. Significance will always outlast you. Even when you are no longer present, your significance will still be yours. And nothing can ever take that away from you.

    [Reply]

  20. Hey Beth,

    I think it is human nature to strive for significance. Everybody wants to be noticed, “Please tell me I’m important, please tell me I DO matter” even if it is unconscious.

    Success means different things to different people but to me it’s : A progressive realization of a worthy ideal.- E.N

    great share!

    Akos
    Akos Fintor´s last blog post ..Empower Network | Wait, Is That the REAL David Wood???

    [Reply]

  21. Significance is always at the last. We should strive for success first. This is my outlook.
    Shirley´s last blog post ..Discover How to Make Money With Woodworking Projects

    [Reply]

  22. Hi Beth,
    I am inspired by your post.I mostly focus on significance and it always give me good result in different matters of life.
    Elena Anne´s last blog post ..The Benefits, Challenges, and Rewards of Exercise at Home

    [Reply]

  23. @ Shirley,
    I think you cant achieve success without significance.
    Pete Goumas´s last blog post ..BlueSpringWellness Coupon & Review

    [Reply]

  24. I think I have been striving for significance over success, all along. Making a meaningful contribution to my community and my church, and being of service to my family, is most important.

    [Reply]

  25. This is an awesome post! I’ll be pinning it!
    Andy´s last blog post ..And Sew We Craft Giveaway

    [Reply]

  26. Your life is far too precious and valuable to have been given to you for you to strive for financial success only. What were you really born for? When you discover that, you will find a significance and a meaning you never imagined possible!

    [Reply]

  27. Unfortunately, success is not the greatest call that we have on our lives. In fact, compared to significance, it fades pretty quickly.

    [Reply]

  28. With a strategically integrated plan we may be able to achieve Success with Significance, secure financial independence and contentment for ourselves and our family, save taxes and expenses, give more to your family and community, make the world a better place, and leave a legacy.

    [Reply]

  29. Isn’t success comes along with significance? Achieving success means that you already have your significance. By that means, I think significance comes first.
    Nancy Carter´s last blog post ..MSDSonline Teams up with ASSE and Jennifer Silk for GHS Webinar on April 19

    [Reply]

  30. Some people spend most of their lives chasing success and when they become successful, it’s never enough. I strive for significance because it lasts and is more fulfilling.
    Karen Talbot´s last blog post ..From Runway to Real Look: How to Wear Bright Makeup

    [Reply]

  31. Don’t stop at being successful. Move from success to significance because that’s where the greatest rewards in life lie.

    [Reply]

  32. As we live our lives, it’s important to realize that everyone leaves a legacy and that we get to choose whether our legacy will be one of significance or something less.

    [Reply]

  33. Financial success is a powerful motivator. And it controls the lives of many. It chooses occupations. It dictates how time, energy, and resources are spent. It influences relationships, schedules, and families. To some, it even becomes an all-consuming passion that leaves broken people and morality in its wake.

    [Reply]

  34. Thanks for the info. There was a lot of useful information. Great article!
    Alice Chen´s last blog post ..MLM Blog – 5 Reasons Why You Need One Right Now!

    [Reply]

  35. We have now devoted a portion of our time working with Latin American leaders to help encourage them in the transformation of their communities as they teach personal and corporate leadership, time-tested values and standards and principles.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Sounds like you are doing great work…of significance for sure, and it sounds like the success is following because of that. Thanks for doing the work you do! :)

    [Reply]

  36. Joshua Tilghman
    Twitter: joshuatilghmanj
    29. Jul, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Another great post! We should always ask ourself this question. It’s funny, because I happened upon this post after thinking about this this morning. I have wanted to success in a side business for quite a while, but when I focus on that aspect of it I feel empty. If I do it out of the motivation of helping others, I don’t sweat whether it is a success or not and things just seem to pick up naturally on their own. Thanks for this post!
    Joshua Tilghman´s last blog post ..Why Solomon’s Temple Cannot Be Literal

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Joshua! Isn’t it interesting how things work that way? Must mean something…right? ;)

    [Reply]

  37. I like your definition Beth. Success is not just nice cars and big houses, it is achieved in many pillars of excellence.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Miguel, I’m glad you resonated with this post. :)

    [Reply]

  38. Hi Beth,
    Is being success an ongoing and never-ending process? Is striving for success making us less happy?

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I don’t think it’s a never ending process, but I do think it’s making us less happy….IF, that is, we’re not also striving for significance.

    [Reply]

  39. Great Post…I’m striving for both. I can definetly see the value in each of them.

    I’ve had success but felt very unsatsified, now I’m working on adding in more significance.
    Lorie´s last blog post ..How Android’s Open Design Allows Users To Stay Secure

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Sounds like you’re on the right track, Lorie! I too am striving for both, but without the significance, the success doesn’t really feel all that great, does it?!

    [Reply]

  40. what a nice insight into our basic nature.
    really inspiring..love your style..!!

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I appreciate that very much! :)

    [Reply]

  41. Every MLM is striving for success, and signficance!
    leospittles´s last blog post ..Welcome to the World of Network Marketing

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I don’t personally agree with that one! There are definitely many companies (just like people) too focused on the glitz and glamour of success, forgetting about making a difference (which is always a success). Just my two cents! Thanks for visiting Leo.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

css.phpDisclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”